The Narcissist Number and Sales

…Obviously worried about appearances, my son took a picture of me exaggerating the size of a fish.

We all hear a lot about narcissism and social media seems to encourage it.   Just think about selfies.  Over coffee this morning, I thought it might be interesting to compare social media users and the number of selfies in their last 20 pictures, assuming they post pictures at all.  My number is very low and, I hope, a good thing.

Ego and focus on yourself is a difficult mix with clients.  A good salesperson should always want to succeed, but not to the exclusion of communication or empathy.   Do you listen or catch yourself doing all the talking “to” a client?  I don’t think the tendency necessarily goes away, even with effort.  In sales, listening is the first rule.  Talk too much and your client is unable to tell you what they need and you don’t build anything.  In my opinion, you can learn a lot about someone by just looking at their social media profiles and at what they feel is important. Everyone can use a little humility and self-awareness.  Take a few minutes to look at your last 20 pictures on social media.  If you sell for a living, what does this mean for you or to your clients?

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which there is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings.  Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder  5/1/2017

How does this translate into effective social media use or service to a client?   Real estate sales is about much more than appearance or a fast sale.  I want relationships and hope to build a certain trust with clients.   The relationship is, in a way, like a marriage.  As a client, do you want a partner focused on their needs or on your needs?   This version of a “narcissism number” might be a clue to how your salesperson really sees the world and you.

Island Lifestyle in Pictures

Just Walk Away….

Everyone should be willing to walk away from an offer or contract.  As a broker, I want to help clients when they need to agree or when they need to move on.  Being an advocate for a client sometimes means reinforcing a realistic view or speaking, when going forward may not be in their best interest.

Offers should always have a budget.  It may mean pre-qualifying for a loan or establishing a number you are unwilling to exceed. Regardless, be willing to walk away if the seller or buyer does not need your price.  Knowing when to walk away can result in better prices and terms.  When you feel the property is the only choice for you , poor decisions are more likely.

Inspections can destroy sale.  Watching a sale fall apart over an overzealous description of property condition, can turn purchase anxiety into something more.   Discussing the limits of an inspection and talking about realistic results of an inspection, go a long way toward calming a buyer or seller, looking unprepared for a negative result.  A common problem is an inspection showing too much minor detail and minor flaws, considered more cosmetic than defect.  Inspectors can describe a property, but, occasionally, you see something unusual.  Years ago, I spent several hours explaining the difference in changes to code and a defect requiring owner repair.  The inspector they chose, specialized in new construction and his entire focus was “Does this home meet current building code?”.   Building codes change and a 1980’s home will not meet 2017 codes.  The buyer, reading through the report, became convinced/determined an older home, in excellent condition, needed extensive work to meet current code.   Unfortunately, the contract and repair addenda, do not normally cover code updates….only non-working or damaged features.  That said, all inspections uncovering a significant defect, should be cause for discussion.  Some contracts offer pre-determined repair amounts and some only offer the right to end the agreement.  If significant and unknown before the inspection, the parties will generally meet to discuss.  If significant enough and if a seller is unwilling to offset the defect it may be time to consider walking away .

Unrealistic people make sales difficult.  Sometimes the buyer expects to negotiate far below a realistic range.   I try to reign in unrealistic expectations with statistics on the market.  Currently, the average percentage of sale to list is in the high 90’s, but knowing list sell percentagethis sometimes changes the expectation.  The most difficult year for this kind of unrealistic came just after the recovery.  As short sales disappeared and inventory dropped, most buyers thought we were still in a market with “steals”.  There are always good buys, but sometimes a buyer remains unrealistic through good and bad markets.   These occasional difficult buyers never make a realistic offer.  Knowing not to chase a sale, as an Owner, with no chance of an agreement,  preserves your ability to price in the future , but it also saves time and energy for your agent.  Sometimes, it serves no useful purpose to reply to an offer and sometimes broadcasts a willingness to drop in price for an unworkable Buyer.

Failure to permit work or construction is another common problem.  See this link for Fernandina’s online search tool.  This is not a substitute for a thorough closing agent, but

permits

Typical Kinds of Permits Shown

it can raise red flags if you see recent work and no accompanying permit.  Occasionally you see a home with extensive missing permits.  If this work is not permitted or permits cannot be closed,  you need to make a decision.  The work and responsibility for a missing permit may become your liability, if you choose to move forward with a sale.

Appraisals can kill sales.  Based on past data, numbers can sometimes be lower than the market will bear.  Many buyers are unwilling to move forward when an appraisal falls below the purchase price.  In the past few years several results came in low for me and, more often than not, it had more to do with limited comparable sales than value.   Keep in mind the market.  Some areas are increasing and the limited comparables mean an appraiser’s opinion is based on limited data.    That said, a big difference in contract and appraisal can mean the end of a sale.

Termites are common in Florida.  Generally, most homeowners carry a bond on structures.   Occasionally a property does not have a bond and has extensive damage uncovered during inspections.  When this is the case it may be reasonable to have a structural damage to the property.  If the damage is too severe and cannot be repaired and if the homeowner is unwilling to correct the issue.

Flood zones are almost certainly changing in August, with new FEMA maps going into effect.  Elevation can become an issue, if flood insurance or a high premium is required for a property previously built at a required elevation.   While not anyone’s fault, building a home below the required elevation can significantly increase your cost to insure.  Consult with your insurance agent, verify the flood zones early and consider costs.

Undisclosed defects are less common, but can be more serious if an owner knows and chooses not to disclose.  Agents are also obligated to disclose known to defects.  During the contract period, hidden defects can be an issue, but becoming aware of a hidden defect after the sale is a much different issue.  An attorney can explain your rights and help you determine your next course of action.  Knowing your rights, and being willing to walk away, if needed, is important.  It is far easier to discuss or resolve issues before actually closing on a property.

Title Defects are very common .  Simple defects can be corrected prior to closing, but an underwriter, lender and your attorney, might insist on resolution before closing.  Some issues cannot be corrected within a reasonable time.   I make an effort to ask questions before closing and am usually aware of possible issues.   Self-prepared quit claim deeds sometimes raise a red flag.  One potential client wanted me to look at a site last year.  While looking, they started telling me about the purchase…cash sale, quit claim deed, not closed at an attorney’s office or title company.   To make a long story short, the deed appeared to have only one owner’s name, an unrecorded easement, a big one, was running through the property, another neighbor had a driveway on an actual recorded common easement, but didn’t want to share.   The deed even added in a description of property another neighbor was using.  I gave him names of three attorneys and two surveyors I use, along with an estimate of value assuming everyone is cooperative.

I always tell buyers to visit a neighborhood after work on a weekend or at different times during a day.  Knowing how many cars park outside the home were trying to be a few of your neighbors can become important over the years.  The annoying neighbor doing

 

woodworking daily, with exotic pets or throwing parties every weekend, may not be your ideal.

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Ok, this isn’t a legal pet for your neighbor in Florida, but loud or aggressive animals do not make a happy neighborly relationship. 

Occasionally the subdivision or neighborhood includes excessive covenants or deed restrictions.  These restrictions can occasionally become a burden or a deal breaker for a buyer.  One of the most annoying restrictions in a subdivision included a specific “non-standard” fence height.  The height had nothing to do with quality, but meant every homeowner was expected to cut a standard fence down to size or buy more expensive custom-made fencing.  I include,  in almost all contracts, a feasibility or due diligence period to review everything, including deed restrictions.   ARB members, with an overinflated sense of their importance, can be annoying.  Restrictions and architectural review sound good when you own an existing home, but can be an issue if neighbors try to over control the late arrivals.  Meeting nearby owners can help.

Surveys sometimes show encroachments and sometimes the dimensions of the property are much different from the description in multiple listing.  A property without an available survey is usually the problem  The property appraiser is much more accurate today, but is not a substitute for a survey.  That said, even a survey can have errors.  Last year, I sold a lot with a portion deeded for easement.  The depth was 20 feet less than a platted size and, luckily for me, I furnished the buyer and their agent with an old survey and the accurate measurement.  A new survey missed the change and showed the total depth, including the deeded portion.  I called everyone to be sure they understood the new survey was in error, but errors are usually in reverse.  A lot with one description is suddenly a little smaller or subject to a previously undisclosed easement.  Once, at closing, a survey arrived showing a restrictive easement.   None of us knew before the

Walking away might be the only option, but always be aware of your rights and obligations under an agreement.   I’ve been a broker for 30+ years and I use attorneys when I’m in doubt.   Walking away before signing a contract is reasonable for dozens of reasons.   Just consider consulting an attorney if you want to be certain of the meaning, have a concern about proper notice to end an agreement or want to be sure you aren’t creating an unintended liability.

Remembering Early Investment Lessons or Oatmeal Never Killed Anyone

Beyond most of the thoughts you might have when buying investment property, being fairly certain of a profit should be an early rule.  I can reroimember buying a duplex in the late 80’s.  Not long out of college and I was saving most of my income and lucky enough to have a nudge in the right direction.

Return on Investment sounds nice, but the average investor is worried about paying the bills, keeping a tenant in place and having enough left over each month to put something in the bank.  I use estimates or, when available, actual numbers today.   Over time, I picked up a handful of ideas.  Beginning with having something left each month, is good, but not really enough to compare properties.   Valuing a property needs to include a way to judge the cash flow, value of the land and building, updates to the property and the return, based on the particular property, financing options and future.

I started from a little different place than most brokers.  The family business was real estate and, after graduating college, I realized how much freedom it gave me.  Granted, I ate oatmeal with a multi-vitamin for breakfast for the first 6 months and my recreation for the first year was a workout at a local free-weight gym for $10/month, but investing always felt like freedom.  Anyway, within 2 years, I’d built a first home and begun buying small rentals.  Just out of college, I only really cared about positive cash flow and the ability to borrow money for the next project.  With each buy, I built up a little bigger reserve of cash.  I’m guessing my reserve rarely dropped below 12 months of living and loan expense.  Saving was easier than you might think.  I knew enough to do quite a bit of the work when

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First Home late 80’s

building my first home, but would make a point of paying subcontractors immediately after completion.  Whenever possible always added my own labor.   When I needed a roof, an engineer friend showed me how to start and I spent the next 2 1/2 days finishing…along with help from a friend.  Some of my best memories are of working on my first home.

Several rentals later, I finally gave up doing all the maintenance.  I began to look at the cost if I hired someone, instead of writing off the cost of my time and labor.   It worked, but sweat equity has value in your time.

As I remember, my first calculations for actual gross income included 90% of market rent to allow for vacancy, less tax, insurance and maintenance (10% of rent), less reserves.   Subtract monthly loan cost and add back in the benefit of depreciation, if any, for a net number, then compare the return to the initial investment for ROI.  Before looking at depreciation or any other part of the calculation, I just wanted to know if money would be left over each month, after considering fixed expenses, repairs, vacancy and reserves.   I never used a rental manager, so the 10-15% added a little more safety. When selling, I generally saved a selling side broker’s fee and, instead of cheering, would add to my reserves.

What would I tell a beginning investor? Identify the work you can do and are capable of doing well.  Be sure it can be at or exceeding code and is work you can legally complete.  Save money and always have a reserve.  The more properties you control, the more important it will become to keep a decent reserve.  Back in 2007, I watched brokers, attorneys, contractors and more, lose live savings and credit.  Most were overextended and held property longer, hoping they would somehow recover.  In my case, I sold a lot of property, never lost good credit, but had some lean years.  Sometimes having a front seat view is educational.   Regardless, you should always be frugal and, if you ever need to sell, don’t argue with a profit.  Real estate can be unforgiving and buyers aren’t always cooperative.  Buy older cars for cash.   I drove one great BMW for 7 years and paid about what everyone else paid for a Honda.   Friends traded cars 3 or 4 times, while I just kept replacing the tires and smiling.  I think I paid $12,000 for a 3-year-old car and drove it another 7 years.  No payments for 7 years is a really big deal, when car payments add up to down-payments on investment property.   I didn’t make a payment on a car until my late 40’s and only because the interest rate was just ridiculous.  This goes along with two rules I tried to follow.  First, buy income property to hold and try to never hold anything vacant.  It should be obvious, but financing is easier for income property, you can use depreciation and tenants pay your cost of holding.  The return is multiplied with leverage.   The second rule is to live within your means.  Try not to make payments on anything with a decreasing value.  Oddly enough, I almost always pay with a credit card, but have, for many years, used only cards with a zero fee and annual rebate.  That said, I only used the card to avoid paying with cash and never used it to borrow….better credit and no debt.

You should always want the market to pay off a part of any debt with appreciation.  It never became part of an investment formula, but it is there.  The safety is in buying “long-term”.  Real estate, over a long period of time, will generally go up by 3 to 5% per year.  By the way,  I never bought a mobile home as a rental, because I felt the buildings actually decreased in value and become more difficult to finance.  Essentially, mobile homes always looked like financial traps, no matter how wonderful the cash flow.   When you look at an investment, think about whether it makes sense.  Would you want to live in the property or do business from the location, if needed.   Never buy anything you really would not want to use.  Tenants change based on convenience and a bad location isn’t worth buying.   If the tenants aren’t happy, you won’t be happy.

iPhone Pictures and Real Estate

I’m often at a property with only an iPhone for pictures….or is it “ONLY” an iPhone?   The shots I manage with several apps and the editing features built into the phone aren’t exactly shabby.  Some of the tricks I use include panoramic shots, angles meant to show off the depth or showcase a feature and even the height of the IMG_0649camera to eliminate the perception of low ceiling height.  How to make a room appear bright or how to improve/edit a picture after shooting, can make a huge difference in advertising or social media traffic.  Many of us use social media to promote property or use listing shots to showcase a listing.  We can see, literally, thousands of views on a single good shot, so the edit and picture can mean a lot.

Why do I think an iPhone is enough?  Well, phones are made, in my opinion, to be used with social media and advertising.  Apple recently released a list of tips for using the camera with an iphone, but the enhanced editing options can create some amazing pictures.

My “agent’s” persective tips would include a few key points.  Learn the editing features available in the photo app.  Take higher definition and straighten or cut pictures to improve the shot.  Don’t only use default filters or enhancements for shots.  Sometimes they work, but it is always possible to do more with manual edits.   Think about light and depth.   Where is the sun?  Is the lighting similar enough to make it easy to edit the entire shot?

I use apps to create effects like the one above, sometimes a sketch effect or sometimes an app like “Pixelmator” or “Enlight” to add an effect.  That said, I’m looking at a higher end camera in the coming few months, but I picked up good basic photography skills with a phone.

My thoughts/tips:

  • I usually shoot with the phone held horizontally.
  • Use the volume tab as a conimg_9059.jpgtrol.
  • The headset volume button works as a remote control for the phone.  If you love selfies, this might be important to you, but it also removes all shake from a shot, giving the appearance of a better resolution.
  • Always edit before publishing.
  • Tap to focus.
  • Swipe to adjust the focus.
  • Brace or rest on something fixed.
  • Use HDR for more dramatic use of highlights.
  • Read through https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht205659 and other tips fro Apple.  They literally give you the keys to the apps and phone!   Read the updates on the phone app and see what it can do.
  • Turn on location services and use the map to locate old listing photos.   Highly under-rated.
  • Use landscape to frame pictues and features to create depth.
  • Never take a picture from directly in front of a home.  I use angled shots, when possible, and think about what I’m seeing.  Your purpose is more than simple information.
  • Inside, try shooting from 2 to 3 feet lower.  I’m tall, but compare the difference.   Lower shots showcase the size of a room and height of ceilings.

 

Feasibility and Economic Impact Study for Pier Location?

In commercial development or any development, it is almost unheard of to begin without an economic impact or feasibility study first.  Consider any major improvement and expenditure of tax money.  Would you prefer to see measured and careful consideration before construction or would you prefer the biggest impact for dollar spent?

Jacksonville, Flagler, Cocoa, Sebastian, Daytona, Lake Worth, Panama City?  There are quite a few examples of oceanfront piers.   In a local’s Facebook forum, several island residents have some positive things to say about placement of piers.

We recently lost a very long pier inside Fort Clinch State Park on Amelia Island.  The pier is something I rarely used and I always wondered at the site choice.  Other than at the mouth of a river, the location does not create a maximum economic impact for the island.  What if we compared locations….perhaps a pier at Main Beach in Fernandina.  The pier might not be as long, so cost might be lessened, but what about economic impact.  Nearby businesses and walkability for the community might make this an exceptional location.
I would only hope to compare locations for cost, economic impact and community preference.  How many people use the Fort Clinch Pier each year, compared to how many might use the same kind of structure at Main Beach?  How would you like to spend your tax dollars?  Should we rebuild without comparing or look for the highest and best benefit first?  2500 feet compared to 1000 feet?  How many people pay to use a 2500 foot pier, walk to reach it and walk that far with fishing gear?

 

FEMA Flood Zones Changing in August…If Buying or Building, Check first!

If adopted, the FEMA flood maps will change in August.  Most of the island changes very little…a few areas become more favorable, but some properties, like areas along South Fletcher, might change from Flood Zone X, to VE.  VE zones are areas subject to wave action, with an elevation requirement as well.  Knowing this before you buy, in an area changing from X to VE or AE, is extremely important.  Consider a building not currently requiring a minimum elevation, but constructed before the change.

Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM, and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (unshaded). https://www.fema.gov/flood-zones 5/12/17

Zone VE The coastal area subject to a velocity hazard (wave action) where BFEs are provided on the FIRM map.

Site costs can change the cost of construction substantially.  In the image below, I also included the coastal construction control line.  This line, the flood zone and added permitting required for oceanfront or, sometimes ocean view property, is important to disclose prior to contract.

 

The coming changes to flood zone lines make it extremely important to compare before and, assuming approved, after maps for property being sold in Fernandina.

Chapter 62B-33, Florida Administrative Code, provides the design and siting requirements that must be met to obtain a (CCCL) coastal construction control line permit. Approval or denial of a permit application is based upon a review of the potential impacts to the beach dune system, adjacent properties, native salt resistant vegetation, and marine turtles.

Random Headlines in Real Estate

Real estate is interesting, if you pay attention.  This morning over coffee, I picked through some amazing headlines and kept thinking about the importance of location.   Whether physical, on social media, in kinds of marketing or sources of information, location means everything.

This is my first real break of the day, even considering coffee, with about a dozen phone calls and emails, several calls to clients and just a truly productive day.  Two properties seem much more likely to close and I’m waiting for a client to finish staging a home to sell.  It really is a great spot for an open house, so I’m looking forward to a change of pace and a change in marketing.  Open houses only work well if the location works.  How far from traffic or are you near a model.  Open houses don’t usually have the luxury of long preparation of unlimited budget.  If located inside a new neighborhood or near a builder’s model, the traffic is already nearby.
View my Flipboard Magazine.

A story involved a change of highway location and “48 Cars Driving Into a Home“. Location is important, but this is just ridiculous!  Apparently, a road and sharp turn, in China, was added in front of a home and cars immediately began to drive through the fence and into the front yard.  I wonder where I’d add that disclosure?   Bad Feng Shui?

Going through articles on the decline of malls, tips for using a smartphone more effectively for photos, the starter home market (new best bet, btw) and yet another negative article on malls in the coming decade, I see Zillow increased revenue by nearly 1/3rd.  Zillow and Trulia are, essentially, the same now and now either feed MLS data directly or each office opts in or out of the data feed.  As a broker, I prefer accurate and really don’t care where the data ends up, as long as a buyer is attracted to my listing.  Some larger offices try to manufacture IDX sites or custom searches, really meant to create an excuse to collect your name and email.  I can do the same things with a mls system, but in much greater detail, so see no advantage to the public.

Where would I go, as a broker, if I suddenly morphed into a consumer of brokerage services?  I’d probably pick a mix of www.REALTOR.com, www.zillow.com, the local property appraiser’s site, several lending sites and then I’d find someone like me…an experienced broker.  Relationships, not clicks, make the difference.  Do you know your agent and does he or she know the market intimately?   How long have they lived in the area?  This makes a much bigger difference than you might imagine.    Regardless, the major sites offer slightly different flavors of information and are both worth seeing, but the feeds should, hypothetically, be similar.

Social media and marketing was my next stop.  SIRI is changing the way AI might be integrated with messaging.  Anything changing the way I communicate with a client is interesting to me.  The Facebook wall changed some time ago and, compared to the original version of the wall 10 years ago, the etiquette and way it is used is vastly different.  Even the feed is customized.  Years ago, you couldn’t pay for priority and pages for business were…well, I don’t remember those at all.  Groups were around and I was an admin for several very large groups.  Anyway, the best tip of the day involved using video or pictures of an event.  Tagging or asking others to tag content makes a difference and I started doing that years ago for a political campaign.  The same article included a clueless tip on leveraging your organization.  I agree to a point.  Adding a number of connected people to an effort can improve the impact, but adding people with disparate messages is a bad thing.  I can remember reading a truly terrible post by a paid blogger on a developer’s site.  While I don’t qualify as an award-winning writer, I do know my job.  Writing about what you know always works, in my opinion.  Making it up as you go never works.   So, for social media, connecting knowledgeable members of a team is good.  Connecting everyone doesn’t work if the knowledge is not complimentary and paying an outsider to write won’t work unless they understand the subject.

Don’t Auto-share from Social Network to Social Network

Social media is a part of our day, assuming you’re part of the 95% of the population actively engaged. Why shouldn’t you share a post from one account on one
platform to another? I’m specifically talking about Facebook posts being share to Twitter and vice versa. I’ve been guilty of turning on the share button for my Facebook Page, but quickly realized it might not be a great idea.

The users and posting formats are vastly different, but there are other reasons not to mix the two. In my view, posting something to Twitter with a link taking me away from the network I’m using at the time, is an annoyance. Most of the twitter posts with a “fb” link or oddly truncated posts, seem to never receive a response if I reply on Twitter. On the other hand, if you share twitter to Facebook, which is possible, the volume of posts turn off most and not replying to a post fed from another social network defeats the biggest purpose of social media. Engagement!

Since I know a few will hope to connect accounts anyway, the short version with a link to directions on Twitter is below.   This is far too easy and, while I understand the occasional logic for emergency notices or specific kinds of accounts, marketing services or anyone hoping to encourage engagement is doing the opposite.

Log in to the Twitter account you want to associate with your Facebook profile.

Go to your Settings menu’s Apps tab

Click Connect to Facebook.

 Source: https://support.twitter.com/articles/31113   5/6/17

Consider the volume of posts.  On a typical day, I might reply to 5, 10 or 20 posts on twitter.  I use the service to read unfiltered news from around the world and save a number of searches related to Amelia Island, #RealEstate, #Florida , and even “Ed Boner” to keep up with any articles mentioning my name.  All show up in separate feeds or I use the hashtags to go directly to the search.  To see how I use Twitter, my account is www.twitter.com/edboner .   Anyway, the volume creates an issue with a Facebook page, when feeding your twitter posts, but you can also create issues with the format, when posting Facebook pages to Twitter.  I will share or comment from other media, but I’m manually posting content and very rarely would advise just feeding something to my account.   The naming differences or use of hashtags is a bit different as well.  An @”name” from Facebook, might not match the same name format on Twitter.  Shortcuts or commands like “.” on Twitter, make less sense on the other network and the limit of 140 characters on Twitter sounds out-of-place on Facebook or cuts off a message, when going in the other direction.

The only exceptions, I can imagine, are for very low volume accounts or for informational community services.  Examples might be a Police Department, Fire Department, municipality or maybe a weather alert service.

Good luck and feel free to ask, if you have questions or want to know what I think about a specific social media platform.   My opinions are my own and were developed over the last 10 years using most major platforms, acting as an admin of several large online forums and self published blogs over the last 10+ years.

The Magical Blue Twitter Checkmark

I’m half tongue in cheek as I write, but everyone out there has to wonder exactly how Twitter chooses to verify an account. My business account on Facebook is verified and it is a pretty straightforward process. Twitter is something different. It isn’t popularity, because I can see accounts with fewer followers and the mythical, magical mark.

The blue verified badge  on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.  Source: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20174631 5/7/2017

So, tonight, I’m making my last (probably) attempt to ask for the verification check from Twitter. Will I be verified? Will I gain 10 points of IQ after the check appears?  Will Twitter stock increase to $35/share?  Will @Jack follow my account, endorsing my business ventures and future political campaigns? Nothing before today, will equal the excitement of seeing that rare and elusive check appear next to my name.

I’m just joking around, but Twitter does have an unusual and subjective, from my perspective,  process to verify accounts.  Does it really help business?  I’m not sure, but there are added commands available and the mark does have a certain prestige.  Generally, they aren’t handed out without a request and I do know a few verified users.  All said their marketing/PR department took care of the process and all seem to feel it was important enough to acquire.  I’m not sure yet, but I’ll let you know how it feels afterward.  In Fernandina…I’m guessing there might be very few or no verified accounts.  It may have something to  do with our rural status as a county or it may simply be the infrequent understanding of Twitter by the general public.   Traffic and interest in an account seem to be part of the equation for verification, but it may just be activity.

To be continued……